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R Kelly sentencing - live: R&B singer on suicide watch after getting 30 years in prison for sex trafficking

Prosecutors had called 25 years behind bars in order to ‘protect the public’

R Kelly ‘did atrocious things to children’, victim says after sentencing

R&B Singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison following a conviction in federal court last year on sex trafficking and racketeering charges.

Appearing in court on Wednesday, the disgraced singer remained silent as he heard from some of his accusers who gave victim impact statements recounting their experiences with the singer.

Prosecutors had called for R Kelly to receive more than 25 years behind bars in order to “protect the public” from the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer. He was convicted on nine counts last September, which included one racketeering and eight counts of Mann Act violations.

Gloria Allred, who represented the three women who testified against R Kelly, told reporters that “no one can undo the harm that has been done to these victims,” which his lawyer’s denied.

The acting associate director off Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) who announced Kelly’s sentencing meanwhile called the singer a “prolific serial predator who utilised his wealth and fame to prey on the young and vulnerable by dangling promises of fame, fortune and stardom for his own sexual gratification.”

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R Kelly victim says 30-year-prison term is 'spot on'

Sonja, a victim of R Kelly’s abuse who testified in court, has hailed the singer’s prison term.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times after the sentencing, Sonja, whose last name is not being revealed to protect her identity, said that she was intimidated by people in the singer’s circle for years.

“I’ve been followed, I’ve been approached at networking events,” she said.“It happened a few different times.”

On each occasion she says she immediately got away from the person who was chatting with her and went “off the grid for a few days.”

“Thirty years is spot on for me,” she said.

“I have been enduring this for almost two decades. I am very happy with the sentence. Very happy.”

R&B singer R. Kelly's supporter reacts following the sentencing hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court in New York, on June 29, 2022.

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R Kelly's lawyer says victims 'preyed on him'

Attorney Steve Greenberg who represented singer R Kelly has accused the victims of ‘preying’ on the singer.

In an interview with Law & Crime Mr Greenberg said: “They preyed on him. And for them to now come to court and say they are victims is just being intellectually dishonest.”

Watch:

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R Kelly's lawyer says singer wanted to speak at his sentencing

Jennifer Bonjean, lawyer for R Kelly, said that the singer wanted to speak in court at his sentencing but she advised him against it.

Speaking to reporters outside court, Ms Bonjean said that she didn’t want him to speak while he has open cases in Chicago and Minnesota.

Another case, involving child pornography and similar allegations, is scheduled to go to trial in Chicago federal court in August, reported Business Insider.

“I promise you, he does wanna make a statement,” Ms Bonjean said.

“He will make statements, but on the advice of counsel, he remained silent.”

Attorney Jennifer Bonjean leaves the courtroom following the sentencing of singer R. Kelly for federal sex trafficking

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Kelly's sisters say singer treated 'unfairly'

R Kelly’s two sisters from his father’s side have said that they believe that the singer has been treated unfairly.

Lisa and Cassandra Kelly, live in North Carolina and Atlanta attended the sentencing on Wednesday.

“He’s been strong. He’s gonna continue to be strong. We’re his sisters, we’re gonna continue to stand behind him,” Lisa Kelly told Insider.

“And that’s just the way it is. We don’t believe any of that.”

In this courtroom sketch, R Kelly and his attorney Jennifer Bonjean, left, appear during his sentencing hearing (Elizabeth Williams/PA)

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Kelly conviction would be unlikely 'if he still had the money and fame,' journalist says

Jim DeRogatis, the first journalist who covered R Kelly’s alleged crimes in 2000 said to ABC’s RN Breakfast that the singer would probably not be convicted and sentenced if he still had money and fame.

“I’m not so sure we would have seen the conviction or the sentencing today if he still had the money and fame that he had at the height of his powers through the 90s, through the 2000s,” he said on RN Breakfast following the sentencing.

“He’s broke. As he sang in the last song he released to the world: I am a broke ass legend.

“Justice is bought in America too frequently by money and fame and that’s what happened when he was first tried for making child pornography in 2008.”

Mr DeRogatis broke the story about the infamous video tape, which showed the singer allegedly abusing and urinating on a 14-year-old girl.

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‘Thirty years that he did this and 30 years is what he got,’ victim saysR Kelly was branded “the pied piper of R&B” by a victim using the pseudonym “Angela” who went on to detail his “deplorable and inexplicable” abuse during her statement.

“I stand here very proud of my judicial system, very proud of my fellow survivors and very pleased with the outcome.

“Thirty years (is how long) that he did this and 30 years is what he got,” she later said outside court.

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R Kelly conviction: All you need to know

R&B singer R Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday, 29 June, in Brooklyn federal court.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly also slapped Kelly with a $100,000 fine, after prosecutors asked for $50,000 to $250,000.

The Independent’s Graeme Massie explains what the singer was convicted of and how much jail time did he faces:

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'R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless,' lawyer says

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York who announced R Kelly’s 30-year-prison term on Wednesday along with Steve K. Francis, Acting Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said that the singer “used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young.”

Read his full statement while announcing the sentence here:

“R. Kelly used his fame, fortune and enablers to prey on the young, the vulnerable and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification, while many turned a blind eye.

“Through his actions, Kelly exhibited a callous disregard for the devastation his crimes had on his victims and has shown no remorse for his conduct. With today’s sentence he has finally and appropriately been held accountable for his decades of abuse, exploitation and degradation of teenagers and other vulnerable young people. We hope that today’s sentence brings some measure of comfort and closure to the victims, including those who bravely testified at trial, and serves as long-overdue recognition that their voices deserve to be heard and their lives matter.”

Breon Peace (C), the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, walks to a press conference outside of the United States Courthouse after former R&B singer R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison after his conviction last year on federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in the Brooklyn borough of New York, New York, USA, 29 June 2022.

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ICYMI: R Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketeering conviction

R&B singer R Kelly has been sentenced to 30 years in prison on sex trafficking and racketteering convictions.

He was convicted in 2021.

Graig Graziosi reports:

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Sentence is justice for Black women

R Kelly’s victims believed their stories were orginally being ignored because they were Black women.

Speaking outside the court on Wednesday where he was sentenced, one unnamed survivor said: “There wasn’t a day in my life, up until this moment, that I actually believed that the judicial system would come through for Black and brown girls”.

Prosecutors had heard from women who told the court how the R & B singer forced them into “obedience” and other “horrors”.

“I hope this sentencing serves as its own testimony that it doesn’t matter how powerful, rich or famous your abuser may be or how small they make you feel — justice only hears the truth,” said US Attorney Breon Peace, as the Associated Press reported.

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